Re: Nipple Shield and Pacifier
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
It's wonderful that you're nursing, even though you have to use the shield right now. Hopefully the shield will be a temporary measure. Babies don't NIPPLEfeed, they BREASTfeed. What that means is that when a baby is properly latched on, the baby is sucking mostly on the elastic, resilient tissue of the areola/breast, rather than on the delicate nipple. When a baby is latched on properly, the nipple sits on the back of the baby's tongue, almost down at the opening to the throat. So once your baby grows a bit and is able to get a deeper "bite" of breast, the length of your nipples shouldn't matter much.
I strongly suggest that you go and see an independent lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. When a newborn baby has trouble latching, a good LC does a lot more than hand you a shield. The baby should be checked for tongue tie and you should get an intensive session during which you really work on the baby's latch, and during which the LC evaluates baby's ability to transfer milk.
You are absolutely correct that it is not recommended that a mom use a pacifier at this point. Pacis can interfere with a baby's latch-on and suckling skills, and latching is already a problem for you,s o much so that you're using a shield. I think a paci is only likely to make baby's latch worse. The other reason you don't want to use a paci right now is that at only 2.5 weeks of age, your baby really needs lots of opportunities to nurse. Not nursing enough is probably the most common reason for a breastfed baby to not gain weight. A baby who is using a shield and isn't a great nurser actually needs MORE nursing opportunities than the average baby, not less, because shields can decrease milk transfer. And therefore, you also absolutely do NOT want a 2-3 hour "schedule". Schedules are the enemy of successful breastfeeding, because milk is produced on a supply = demand basis. Restrict demand, by spacing out baby's feedings to some artificial interval, and you will end up with decreased supply. So please, please, no schedules- unless you're going to feed the baby MORE often than he demands.
I know this period in your life and your baby's life is super tough and probably not the rosy picture you had of your first few weeks with your new baby. But you can get through it, and trust me, it's worth it! We'll be here for you every step of the way.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"